Book Review: “Overmedicated and Undertreated”

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A former pharma executive has broken ranks with the industry in a new book by reporting how multiple psychiatrists, schools, and his desperate hopes pressed him to allow higher and higher doses of antipsychotic medications. The result: his 15-year-old son's death from Seroquel.

FDA Approves Another Antipsychotic for Children

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The FDA has approved the atypical antipsychotic Saphris (asenapine) for use in children on the basis of one trial.

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

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For Philly.com, staff writer Stacey Burling reports on the PolicyLab analysis of psychiatric drug use among Pennsylvania children on Medicaid.  “Many children in foster...
suzuki book zen buddhism

Searching for Zen and Finding a Cow

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If I had a clinical problem, why was something as ancient and simple as meditation helping me? And if normal positive human habits could be so profoundly useful, why the heck was the field marketing pills and “clinical” coping mechanisms to me instead? This frustration helped me jump ship from the medical mindset and hop into the world of humanity.

Over 16,000 Australian Children Prescribed Antipsychotics

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From The Sydney Morning Herald: New data from Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme shows that a total of 16,570 Australian toddlers, children, and teens under 17 were...

Update on the Association Between ADHD and Bipolar

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Researchers from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre of King's College's Institute of Psychiatry in London, publishing in the Journal of Affective...

Omega-3 Screening for Psychiatric Symptoms?

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There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may be connected to a diverse array of psychiatric symptoms. In a new study published this month, psychiatrist Robert McNamara and Erik Messamore provide an overview of the evidence and call for screening of omega-3 deficiency in people experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and psychosis.

“Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy”

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New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, relates the story of Andrew Francesco, a boy who began taking Ritalin at age five and died from complications with Seroquel when he was fifteen. His father, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, reveals the industry’s greed in his memoir “Overmedicated and Undertreated.” Now the industry is pushing for a first-amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses.

Does DSM-5 Matter? Yes; but not for Psychiatrists

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What makes the DSM so pernicious is that it is a cultural document whose influence transcends not only psychiatric practice but also the Western civilization from which it originates. Each revision of the DSM rescripts and reimagines how we make sense of our experiences, reinterprets what thoughts, feelings and behaviors are socially sanctioned, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Disease Theory of ‘Mental Illness’ Tied To Pessimism About Recovery

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Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and recover

One-third of Youth Treated for Bipolar Developed Schizophrenia Symptoms

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Over one-third of young people who were treated for bipolar disorder developed schizophrenia within eight years, according to a study in Schizophrenia Research. In...

“Biologism in Psychiatry: A Young Man’s Experience of Being Diagnosed with ‘Pediatric Bipolar Disorder'”

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The Journal of Clinical Medicine explores pediatric bipolar disorder through the eyes  a young American, whose story "reveals several issues that afflict contemporary psychiatry, particularly in...

Anticonvulsant Implicated in Birth Defects in up to 4,100 Children, French Study Finds

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Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.

Michael Samuel Bloom

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by Chaya Grossberg July 25, 2012 He also told me the shrinks were changing around his drugs and adding more.  They added an antidepressant or two to the Lithium and increased doses and eventually he seemed to have very little life left in him.  Our phone calls became trying for he was so down, practically dead sounding a lot of the time, and I felt unable to do anything or say anything to make a difference.  To even try felt futile and I wondered if talking to me at all was becoming the burden of yet another person he couldn't connect with. In the early years, he liked to think of us as being in the same boat, both mentally ill, since I'd also had a meltdown and I also am extremely sensitive and go through extreme states.  But as the years went by, especially towards the end, I seemed to be in the ever growing “other” camp in his eyes, which meant I was yet another person who didn't get what it was like to be him. And at that point I can confirm I did not, and perhaps did not want to.

“Antipsychotic Use in Youth Without Psychosis: A Double-edged Sword”

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This month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry ran an editorial commenting on recent research revealing that the majority of youth prescribed antipsychotics have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder.
healthy mania

In Defense of Healthy Mania

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It is important to distinguish, and not simply pathologize, experiences that are manic-like because they are time-honored states of mind associated with aspiration, ambition, and goal-achievement. The need to generate boundless energy, overtalk the issues to sustain single-minded focus and motivation, and have a somewhat grandiose vision of what can be accomplished, combined, can eventuate in a manic mix of tendencies necessary to bring higher-order goals to fruition.

Bipolar? When Quitting is the Answer

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Whether it’s the Nurtured Heart Approach, or any other method that’s truly up to the task, we need these effective strategies and ways of thinking to be more widespread so we can lessen the pitfalls of the medical model’s limited prospective which has no idea of how to turn intense into immensely great.

Off-Label Antipsychotic Use Among Children Soaring

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Researchers from Philadelphia and Baltimore find, in a study of Medicaid records for 50 states and the District of Columbia, that antipsychotic prescribing to...

Prozac Preschool

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From Pacific Standard: Young children are increasingly being prescribed psychiatric drugs. However, there is very little research on the safety and efficacy of psychotropic drugs...

Will Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) Reduce False Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in Children?

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Neuroskeptic takes on a new paper that proposes a new DSM-5's diagnosis will reduce the epidemic of bipolar diagnosis in children, comparing it to fighting...

Association Between ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

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Researchers in London review the literature on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD), finding that "comorbidity and family studies appear to...

45% of Children and Adolescent Inpatients Prescribed Antipsychotics

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In a rare long-term study of antipsychotics used in children and adolescent inpatients, the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT followed 3,851 consecutive admissions...

Different Forms of Childhood Adversity Related to Specific Psychosis Symptoms

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In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

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With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?